Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Hello to All-

The past two weeks have been a flurry of activity. This is the week that I purposely try to stay out of buildings (especially elementary) because I have a tendency to get students all riled up and then leave. Students are already riled up, and if I want the continued support of our staff I probably shouldn't add to the excitement!

I won't be sitting around though. I am trying to deal with all of the negative news out of Albany. At last count they have taken about $1,310,000 from our school in promised aid this year, and we could be looking at upwards of $2,000,000 in reduced aid for next year if everything that has been legislatively proposed holds true. This will obviously mean more belt tightening for us when we already clicked our belt a few rungs tighter last year. We will make it happen but it is going to be painful and there is no way around it unless some miracle happens and more money is released to schools next year. I am not holding my breath.

I am also working on regulations for a Board policy regarding recognizing distinguished individuals. At the heart of the policy is whether or not facilities or fields will be named after anyone. This has presented challenges because it is one of the few issues that comes up in a career where everyone is not on the same page, and may not be after the policy is finalized and approved. My job is to write some language to help me manage the policy that the Board enacts. This will be tricky because what ever I write, as comprehensive as it might be, will probably not erase some of the feelings around the base policy. That is why I get paid the "big bucks" I guess.

I want to give thanks to our staff and students. They have given their time, money, and talents to help those who are less fortunate through this holiday season. More importantly they understand that poverty and need don't go away after the holidays and many of the programs that they have started, or are currently working with, will continue on through the rest of the school year. This will certainly come as good news to those who have benefited from their generosity.

The positives in this District still massively outweigh the challenges and many of our neighbors would love to trade challenges any day. Part of our growth and success is being hyper-critical of our own operation so don't take anything that I say as negative. Look at it as an honest reflection of what I think needs to get better or an honest look at the facts surrounding a challenge.

I am looking forward to the holidays, but I am also looking forward to facing the rest of the school year. There are some major challenges that need to be conquered!

Happy Holidays-